Our visit to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ…and 5 tips to make your trip great!

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Recently, Big Dude had a day off from school! We decided to take advantage of this rare day of just the two of us, so we went to Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. We dropped off Little Dude at school and headed over so that we could be at the aquarium right when they opened. Let me tell you, if you can be at the aquarium at opening, DO IT! I’m getting ahead of myself, but we spent about 2 hours there and there was hardly anyone there. It was amazing! camden new jersey aquarium caffeine & fist bumps day trip south jersey new jersey

adventure aquarium camden new jersey south jersey
The entrance to the aquarium is right by the Delaware River. We love looking over at the Philadelphia skyline before and after our visit.

When we got into the aquarium, I made a point to check the showtimes for the two 3D movies they now include with the price of admission. For whatever reason, they haven’t been starting the movies until around 1pm on weekdays, so that did not work for us. I had seen the movies before, with Little Dude, before and they’re super cute and pretty educational. If you get the chance to watch the movies, I definitely recommend seeing them; I just wish they started showing them earlier on weekdays! camden new jersey aquarium caffeine & fist bumps day trip south jersey

adventure aquarium fish camden new jersey family
There is a gorgeous art installation in the center of the aquarium, just past the Touch a Shark exhibit and by the Stingray Beach exhibit.

Totally unlike me, Big Dude is NOT at all interested in touching any of the sea creatures in their “Touch a {animal}” exhibits, so we just looked at them instead. Again, if you can make it to the aquarium in the morning, that is THE time to go. There was hardly anyone trying to touch the animals while we were there. I’ve always loved how patient the staff is at these exhibits. During peak hours, the exhibits are so crowded and the staff is always reminding the kids (and sometimes adults…), through their microphone, to “touch the animals with two fingers” and to “not splash” because it scares the animals away. One time, I remember no one listening to the girl watching over the tank. It was crazy; kids were splashing in the water, using their whole hand to try to touch the sharks, and it was so loud. This poor girl said something like “if you would listen to me, the sharks would let you touch them.” Totally something a mom would say, right?! camden new jersey aquarium caffeine & fist bumps day trip south jersey

sting ray adventure aquarium camden new jersey
The Stingray Beach Club exhibit offers the opportunity to touch Stingrays! They even have scheduled times when guests can feed them, too!

The penguin exhibit is one of our favorites. It is outdoors, just through the doors from the Stingray Beach exhibit. We always make a point to visit the penguins if the weather is cooperating. They’re just fun to watch and the boys and I always take guesses as to which penguin is going to jump in the water next. All of the penguins have little bands on their fins so that they can be identified. For whatever reason, this was one of the first times we were able to take the time to read all of the signs posted by the penguins (it’s usually pretty crowded). There is a penguin in this exhibit that is 35 years old! I had no idea penguins could even live that long! We made it our mission to find him (he’s id tag #2 if you want to look for him) and finally found him in the corner. camden new jersey aquarium caffeine & fist bumps day trip south jerseypenguin adventure aquarium camden new jersey family

 

Right next to the penguin exhibit is a new playground set for littles. camden new jersey aquarium caffeine & fist bumps day trip south jersey

adventure aquarium camden new jersey playground
I LOVE that there is a cover for the playground – perfect for those hot and sunny summer days!

adventure aquarium camden new jersey playground

After seeing the penguins, we headed over to the other side of the aquarium to see our favorite exhibit: The Shark Bridge. Now, to get to the Shark Bridge, you can either walk through the gift shop and end up right at the Shark Bridge or you can enter the Hippo Haven exhibit. I chose to go through the Hippo Haven because I knew that, as soon as Big Dude got on the Shark Bridge, that would be ALL he would want to do. The boys ALWAYS try to get through Hippo Haven quickly because, honestly, Hippos are stinky. They’re adorable, but they sure are stinky!

We moved through the Hippos quickly, walked walked through the shark tunnel, and finally made our way to the Shark Bridge. There was NO line! I was amazed! Big Dude and I got to walk through the Shark Bridge three times before we decided we were done. camden new jersey aquarium caffeine & fist bumps day trip south jersey

shark bridge adventure aquarium camden new jersey
Big Dude loves to pose!
shark bridge adventure aquarium camden new jersey
The view of the sharks beneath the Shark Bridge. SO COOL!

 

That was our quick trip the the Adventure Aquarium. If you plan on going, consider these tips to make your visit successful:

  1. Arrive early
    • Check the hours and schedule for the day you are attending and, if possible, arrive right at opening to avoid crowds.
  2. Check Adventure Aquarium Policies
    • Check here to see policies. I especially love that they allow coolers in case you do not want to purchase a meal there.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes
    • How do people visit attractions in heels? I just don’t get it. I recommend wearing comfortable shoes as there is plenty of walking and stairs, should you choose not to take the elevator.
  4. Visit on a weekday
    • I know that isn’t always possible, but try to visit on a weekday when local schools are in session. You will probably run into school groups, but it should be WAY less crowded than it is during the weekend.
  5. Consider getting an annual pass
    • In addition to getting invited to member-only events, the annual passes can be very reasonably priced. Annual Pass Members get discounted parking ($5 instead of $10) and can sometimes bring a friend for free. Groupon runs specials from time to time.

 

Looking for more South Jersey Fun? Choose a date and call a sitter – check out 30 Budget Friendly Autumn Date Ideas complete with suggestions for South Jersey!

Check out our Indoor and Outdoor Activity guides!

Burlington County Indoor Activities
Burlington County Outdoor Activities
Camden County Indoor Activities
Camden County Outdoor Activities
Gloucester County Indoor Activities
Gloucester County Outdoor Activities

 

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